Photographing Red-tailed Hawk Juveniles On The Wing

/, Birds, Davis County, Red-tailed Hawks, Utah/Photographing Red-tailed Hawk Juveniles On The Wing

Red-tailed juvenile landing on a rock outcroppingRed-tailed juvenile landing on a rock outcropping – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 300mm, natural light, not baited

These are a just few images that I have edited taken since August of Red-tailed Hawk juveniles on Antelope Island State Park.

The juvenile Red-tailed above was just coming in to land on a rocky out cropping, the white wash is a sign that this rock is used as a perch often and not just by the Red-tailed Hawks. I’ve seen American Kestrels, Chukars, Rock Wrens, Western Meadowlarks and more on those rocks.

Red-tailed Hawk juvenile and its shadowRed-tailed Hawk juvenile and its shadow – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Even though the young  hawk is small in the frame in this image I like it because of the bird’s shadow falling on the rock below it.

Red-tailed juvie flying pastRed-tailed juvie flying past – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

This immature Red-tailed Hawk was looking at the rock it would soon perch on as it flew past me.

We have lift offWe have lift off – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 640, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

This Red-tailed juvenile was just lifting off from the dark rocks when I created this image, the talons on the bird’s right foot were still touching the perch it was leaving. This frame shows how long the legs of these Red-tailed Hawks actually are.



  1. Ingrid December 6, 2012 at 3:11 am

    Mia, that first photo (at the risk of anthropomorphizing which, sadly, I do) looks like a pose for a sermon. I’m so drawn to that image, I can’t stop looking at it.

    • Mia McPherson December 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      I anthropomorphize at times too Ingrid. I can see the sermon pose too. Thanks so much for your comment.

  2. M. Firpi December 5, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    A free spirit, that’s how I feel when looking at your raptors, all of them are great!

  3. Humming Bird Lover December 5, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Hi! You catch the in flight Photo’s in such a great way! The colors and feather patterns are so perfect. Keep up the beautiful work.

  4. Dan Huber December 5, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Gorgeous photos of a really snazzy bird Mia; your work is always stunning!

  5. Rohrerbot December 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    I absolutely love the lighting on your shots. That crystal sharp clear image as they lift off…..nice! Beautiful subjects to capture on camera.

  6. Wally December 4, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Spectacular! A beautiful bird, perfect images.

    • Mia McPherson December 5, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Thanks wally, they are such handsome birds

  7. Scott Simmons December 4, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Wonderful shots!

  8. Jim Braswell December 4, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Nice juvie pix, Mia!

  9. Syl Lobato December 4, 2012 at 8:51 am

    what fabulous pictures…love it..

  10. Tami December 4, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Your collection of RT Hawk images is stunning, Mia. I love the landing photo. Looks like it’s conducting an orchestra down below.

    • Mia McPherson December 5, 2012 at 11:52 am

      Thanks Tami, I see what you mean about looking like it is conducting an orchestra.

  11. Sherry in MT December 4, 2012 at 7:41 am

    They are indeed amazing creatures to watch and your shots are fabulously showing that!

  12. Bob Bushell December 4, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Nice work Mia, seeing it so well photographed, makes it as brilliant as they say.

    • Mia McPherson December 4, 2012 at 7:36 am

      Thanks Bob, they are brilliant birds!

  13. eric c11 December 4, 2012 at 6:44 am

    simply wonderfull, good job mia 🙂

  14. judy watson December 4, 2012 at 6:28 am

    I love the shadow pic!

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